For the past five weeks leading up to the 2018 season we have honored one of our five seniors that have given so much to our program during their time at Georgia State. This week we will focus on setter, Carley Eiken.
Carley Eiken is a redshirt senior and Georgia native, hailing from just down the road in Dacula. Eiken came to the Panthers prior to the 2017 season after spending her first two collegiate seasons at Armstrong State. During her time in Savannah, Carley earned Second-Team All-Peach Belt honors, and played in all 34 of the Pirates matches in 2016.
Prior to her junior season, Armstrong State merged with Georgia Southern and Armstrong athletics disbanded. Carley decided that Atlanta was the perfect spot for her to continue her career and education. “Coach Sally was so welcoming and I could tell that she had such a big heart for her players and the game”, said Eiken. “The girls made me feel like I was a part of the team right away.”
Eiken made an immediate impact at Georgia State, playing in 27 of GSU’s 29 matches and making 13 starts. In her first match as a Panther, Eiken dished out 40 assists in a 3-1 win over Rutgers. Carley would go on to record double-digit assists in 19 matches, and would top the 20-assist mark nine times.
The 40 assists effort against Rutgers was a career high for the senior; as was an 18-dig match against Austin Peay. Eiken would add 36 assists against the Governors for one of her two career double-doubles. The transfer excelled in matches against rival Georgia Southern, recording matches with 27 and 26 assists respectively while splitting time with fellow senior Sarah Renner.
Eiken filled up the stat sheet for the Panthers in her first year in blue and white. The setter was second on the team with 439 assists, fifth on the team with 17 service aces, and sixth on the team with 128 digs. She would also add 15 blocks.
“Carley has great court vision and can find her hitters from anywhere on the court” said head coach Sally Polhamus. “She is a leader on and off the court striving for the best results in all areas of her life.”
Eiken has been an exemplary scholar during her collegiate career. She was named to the Spring 2018 President’s List, and the Fall 2017 Dean’s List. During her time at Armstrong, Eiken was a three-time member of the Peach Belt Presidential Honor Roll.
Carley cites dancing on team busses and last year’s sweep of Georgia Southern as two of her favorite moments as a Panther. “Moving to the city I was out of my comfort zone, but I trusted my heart and now I know I made the right decision.”
In regards to her final season, Eiken has one goal in mind. “I am hoping to win a conference championship. It would be amazing to bring home that Sun Belt trophy to one of the most amazing coaches I know.”
Carley and the rest of the Panthers will begin Fall Camp next Tuesday.
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